Anna Maria Bunn

Anna Maria Bunn, nee Murray (1808-1889) was born in Ireland and migrated to Sydney with her widowed father Terence and one of her two brothers. In Sydney she met Captain George Bunn: they married in 1828 and settled in Pyrmont. George, a mariner, businessman and magistrate, died in 1834, leaving Anna with two sons, some debts, and property including “Mrs Bunn’s Cottage”. She soon left Pyrmont and divided her time between her two brothers in Woden and Yarralumla.

Four years later she published, anonymously, her only literary work. The Guardian: a Tale by an Australian, is the first novel published in mainland Australia, and the first by a woman. Part Gothic, part comic, it was set in England and Ireland, with only marginal references to Australia. She died in Braidwood at 81.